Huskers Host Sevigne Invite this Weekend

By NU Athletic Communications
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Lincoln - After a double-dip last weekend with the Conference Challenge and the NWU Invite the Nebraska track and field teams will compete in the 33rd Annual Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational Friday and Saturday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Indoor Track. Each year, the meet is one of the largest and most competitive meets not only in the Big 12, but in all of NCAA Division I.

22 teams from across the United States will compete in the two day event. Teams competing in the meet include; Arizona, Baylor, Central Florida, Concordia, Emporia State, Florida State, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa State, Johnson County CC, Kansas, KCKCC, Kansas State, Minnesota, Missouri Southern, Nebraska-Omaha, Nebraska Wesleyan, Nebraska-Kearney, South Dakota, Texas-El Paso, UC Irvine and Washington State

The meet start Friday with multi-events beginning at noon and field events starting at 5 p.m. Running events at 6 p.m. Saturday, multi-events start at 10 a.m. while running events begin at 1:45 p.m. and field events at 2 p.m.

At 3:45 p.m. on Saturday a special presentation will take place where Dave Greathouse and Tim Renz will be honored with The Husker Officials Organization Award. More information about the Husker Officials Organization can be found here

Following the meet, awards will be given to the Most Outstanding Performer for both the men and women. Last year's men's winner was Egor Agafonov of Kansas. He set the meet record in the men's weight throw. Agafonov went on to win the Big 12 and NCAA Indoor championships. Iowa's Kineke Alexander was the women's top performer. She posted the nation's fastest time in the women's 400-meter dash while shattering both the meet and Devaney Center record with a time of 52.01.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at, the Husker Athletic Ticket Office or the day of the meet at the Devaney Center. Reserved seats are $7 while general admission tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. University of Nebraska students get in free with a valid ID.

- Matchups to Watch
With the high quality of competition entering Lincoln this weekend, there will be main key events to keep an eye on. Some of the more interesting matchups include:

* Men’s 200m Dash: Two NCAA qualifiers. Sophomores Scott Wims of Nebraska and Baylor’s Trey Harts are expected to have an exciting race as the third-ranked Wims is only 1/100th of a second faster then the fourth-ranked Harts.

* Men’s 400m Dash:
Two NCAA qualifiers. No. 1-ranked Quentin Iglehart-Summers of Baylor brings his blazing 46.77 time in the 400m to Lincoln where he will face up with Nebraska’s own Lukas Hulett. Hulett’s time last week, 47.00, not only hit the NCAA provisional qualifying mark, but it also was a new personal best.

* Men’s High Jump: Four NCAA qualifiers. Four of the top 15 high jumpers in the country will square off as NCAA automatic qualifier Dusty Jonas, who is tied for the top mark so far this year at 2.25m (7-4 1/2), will try to fend off NCAA provisional qualifiers Paul Hamilton of Nebraska, who is ranked fourth with a jump of 2.19m (7-2 1/4), and Minnesota’s Matt Fisher and Washington State’s Trey Arrivey who are tied for 12th nationally at 2.14m (7-0 1/4)

* Men’s Long Jump: Three NCAA qualifiers. Arizona teammates Luis Rivera-Morales, Daniel Marshall and Jordan Powell will try to outdo each other as Rivera-Morales is currently ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division I at 7.84m while Marshall trails him in eighth place at 7.62m and Powell in 17th.

* Men’s Shot: Two NCAA qualifiers. No. 1-ranked Russ Winger (19.56m) of Idaho will have to deal with some stiff competition up against second ranked Zach Lloyd of Arizona (19.46m). Winger won the event at last year’s meet and both Winger and Lloyd have already posted NCAA automatic qualifying marks.

* Women’s Triple Jump: Two NCAA qualifiers. The top four competitors from last year will return with last year’s winner, Crystal Manning of Kansas, trying to defend her title against top-ranked Nelly Tchayem of UTEP. Manning and Tchayem will have to fend off Nebraska teammates Zarinah Suluki-Drakes and Leandra McGruder who finished third and fourth last year.

* Women’s High Jump: Two NCAA qualifiers. NCAA automatic qualifier, Elizabeth Patterson and NCAA provisional qualifier, Jasmin Day of Arizona will be the top two seeds in the high jump; however Nebraska’s trio of Erin Hannon, Audry Svane and Epley Bullock will not be far behind. Bullock is a returning All-American, while Hannon is ranked No. 1 on the Husker indoor list with Svane ranked No. 2.

* Women’s 60m/200m: Two NCAA qualifiers. Nickesha Anderson of Kansas and Tiffaney Townsend of Baylor both have made NCAA provisional qualifying marks in both the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes. Anderson holds the lead in the 60-meters while Townsend is ranked high in the 200-meters.

* Women’s Shot Put: Two NCAA qualifiers. 13th-ranked Keisha Walkes (15.65m) of Texas-El Paso will go up against fellow NCAA provisional qualifier Megan Howard of Arizona who is ranked 24th nationally with a mark of 15.20m.

- Husker Men Ranked #6 in First USTFCCCA Poll
The first regular season poll released by the United State Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association has the Husker men’s team ranked sixth in the nation. The Husker men were ranked No. 16 in the preseason; strong performances so far this year by Dusty Jonas, Scott Wims, Lukas Hulett and Paul Hamilton have propelled the men up the rankings.

- Wims Tears Up Conference Challenge
Sophomore Scott Wims had a memorable 2008 Conference Challenge as he left the Devaney Center with three event titles. Wims started off his day defeating fellow Husker teammate Dax Danns in the 60m dash by only 1/100th of a second as Wims blazed in at 6.79.

The 60-meters was just a warm-up for Wims, who would reach an NCAA provisional mark, new personal best and moved up to fourth all-time on the Nebraska indoor list in the 200m dash with a lighting fast time of 21.20. At the time of the race, Wims’ time was the fastest recorded collegiate time this season. After the race, Wims was not focused on what he did right, but what he could do to better his time by the end of the season.

"I just have to run faster and see what I did wrong as opposed to what I did right. I can use that to my advantage in the upcoming weeks," said Wims.

Wims finished out his day anchoring the Husker 4x400 meter relay team that beat Big 12 foe Missouri with a time of 3:13.53.

- Jonas Jumps to Top of Rankings
Husker senior Dusty Jonas made a big impact during his first home meet of the year as he tied his personal best with a mark of 2.25 (7-4 1/2) in the high jump. Jonas’ jump not only was an NCAA automatic qualifying mark, but also boosted him to the top of the NCAA rankings as he is currently tied with conference rival Scott Sellers of Kansas State for the No. 1 spot in all of Division I in the high jump.

- Huskers and Big 12 Take Down Mountain West
Nebraska, Kansas State and Missouri teamed up to collect a total of 224 points, easily topping the Mountain West’s team of Air Force, Brigham Young and Colorado State that totaled 145 points.

The meet got started with a bang as Nebraska’s own Peter van der Westhuizen entertained the crowed with a personal-best performance in the 5000m run with a time of 14:20.65. Van der Westhuizen torched the competition, as the next closest competitor finished 46-seconds behind him. Van der Westhuizen’s time moved him up to third all-time on the Nebraska 5000m run list.

Husker All-American Lukas Hulett also set a NCAA provisional mark in the 400m with a time of 47.00. It was also a new personal best for Hulett and bumped him up to third all-time on the Husker indoor list.

The Huskers would then sweep the jumps on the men’s side as LeRon Williams and Robert Rands finished 1-2 in the long jump with Williams going 7.10m (23-3 1/2) and Rands jumping 7.01m (23-0). Senior Dusty Jonas returned to Lincoln Saturday and earned a NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the high jump at a height of 2.25m (7-4 1/2), a mark that tied his personal best. The jumps were rounded out with freshman Nicholas Gordan (Kingston, Jamaica) who won the triple jump with a leap of 15.22m (49-11 1/4).

The Husker women would not be outdone as Erin Hannon and Epley Bullock took home the top two spots in the high jump with Hannon narrowly defeating Bullock with a jump of 1.75m (5-8 3/4), Bullock jumped 1.70m (5-7).

The Huskers then made a clean sweep of the 60-meter hurdles as freshman Karyn LaCour won the the event for a second straight weekend, bettering her time from last week to a new personal best at 8.51 and moving herself into 10th all-time on the Husker list in only her second collegiate meet. Ross Tyrell took the title for the men, clocking in a time of 8.07.

The meet was rounded out with the Husker men tearing up the competition in the 4x400 meter relay as Hulett, Andrew Pearson, Dan Christensen and Wims teamed up for a time of 3:13.53.

- Freshman LaCour Turns Heads
Freshman sensation Karyn LaCour continues to make noise this season as she has won the 60-meter hurdles in her first two collegiate meets. The Humble, Texas, native is a two-time Texas 5A state champion in the 100-meter hurdles and is adapting very well to the 60-meters. LaCour bettered her time from the Holiday Inn Invitational (8.56), running an 8.51 at the Conference Challenge. LaCour’s time currently ranks her third in the Big 12.

- Husker Women Own High Jump Pit
A young group of Huskers are making quite an impact this year on the high jump as sophomores Erin Hannon and Epley Bullock have combined with freshman Audrey Svane to own three of the top four spots on the Big 12 performance list. Hannon leads the bunch after she won the Conference Challenge with a jump of 5-8 3/4 (1.75m). The youngest of the group, Svane, is pushing the older two and is currently ranked second on the conference list with a jump of 5-7 1/4 (1.71). Bullock, an All-American as a freshman, is ranked fourth and has only jumped 5-7 (1.71) so far this year, but looks to top her personal best of 6-0 (1.83) before the end of the year. All three are training hard to make the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. on March 14 and 15.

- Wims and Danns Battle for Top Spot
After two complete meets Scott Wims and Dax Danns each have one victory in the 60m dash. At the Holiday Inn Invitational Wims got the better of Danns in the prelims, but Danns came back with a vengeance in the finals as he beat out Wims with a time of 6.90. The following week at the Conference Challenge both would run their best times of the year with Wims returning to take his crown as he barely beat out Danns’ time of 6.80 with a time of 6.79. Wims and Danns currently rank fourth and fifth respectively on the Big 12 performance list.

- Huskers Win Seven Events at NWU Invite
Husker sophomore Nikita Eades got the meet started off on the right foot for the Huskers as she beat out the competition to win the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.75. Eades ranks sixth all-time in the Husker indoor record book and hopes to be a top competitor in the 60-meter hurdles when the Big 12 Indoor Meet is held in Lincoln from Feb. 29 to March 1.

The Husker women went 1-2-3 in long jump, led by Chantae McMillan who recorded a personal-best jump of 5.70m (18-8 1/2). McMillian beat out teammates Zarinah Suluki-Drakes, who jumped 5.56m (18-3), and Ann Erega, who finished at 5.52m (18-1 1/2). Suluki-Drakes would not be denied in the triple jump as she won the title with a leap of 12.6m (39-7).

On the men’s side Chris Nuttelman and Maruo Parnell took the top two spots in the men’s triple jump as Parnell’s personal-best jump of 14.21 (46-7 1/2) was not enough to beat out Nuttelman, who jumped 14.38 (47-2. 1/4). In the long jump Skyler Reising beat out fellow Husker Scott Jorgenson as Reising jumped 7.11m (23-4).

In the running events the Husker men took both the 600-meter and 800-meter runs as Eric Lund paced the 600m pack with a time of 1:23.32 while Jack Lemke won the 800 title with a time of 1:54.81.

In the men’s 60-meter dash LeRon Williams and Robert Rands both ran personal-best races at 7.07, however, neither could beat out former Husker All-American and Big 12 Conference Champion Chris Chandler, who torched the competition with a time of 6.86. Chandler still holds the Nebraska all-time indoor record in the 60-meter dash at 6.61.

- Freshmen Continue to Shine Early
So far this season eight events have been won by Husker freshmen. Leading the pack for the men is Paul Hamilton of Sidney, Neb., Hamilton achieved a NCAA indoor provisional mark in the high jump with a leap of 2.19m (7-2 1/4) in his first collegiate meet. Other winners for the men include Adam Dailey (800m), David Adams (3000m) and Nicholas Gordan (triple jump)

The women are carried by Karyn LaCour who has won the 60m hurdles in her first two collegiate meets, while Lara Crofford (mile run) and Natalie Willer (pole vault) each won their events at the Holiday Inn Invitational.

- Pepin Leads Husker Squad for Record Tying 28th Season
Nebraska Head Coach Gary Pepin is beginning his 28th year guiding the Husker women’s team and 25th year coaching the NU men's squad. With this year, Pepin will tie former Husker coach Frank Sevigne as the longest-tenured track and field coach in school history. Sevigne logged 28 seasons leading the NU men’s program from 1956 through 1983.

Pepin has helped the Husker women combine for 38 of their 40 conference titles, while also notching 20 of the program’s 21 top-five NCAA team finishes, including each of Nebraska’s three indoor national championships.

Pepin has led the men's team to 26 of its 58 indoor and outdoor conference crowns, while also notching two NCAA top-five placings. The Huskers' second-place finish at the 1996 NCAA Indoor Championships ranks as the squad's highest at an NCAA meet.

- Four NCAA All-Americans Back at it for Nebraska Men’s Squad
Four Husker men who have combined to win seven individual and one relay All-America awards return to power Nebraska in 2008. The group is led by Dusty Jonas, one of the premiere high jumpers in the country.

Jonas enters his final season with the Huskers in search of the one elusive element of his career, an individual national title. Jonas owns six All-America finishes in the last three years, including runner-up showings indoors in both 2005 and 2007. With one final chance for the gold, Jonas will be one of the Huskers to watch in 2008.

Three young Husker sprinters will compliment the seasoned veteran. Junior Dan Christensen and sophomores Lukas Hulett and Scott Wims were part of the 4 x 400-meter relay that earned All-America honors by virtue of their eighth-place performance at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Wims also earned All-America recognition outdoors for his seventh place in the 200-meters at the outdoor championships. These three sprinters plus sophomore Dax Danns should form the core of the team.

- Two NCAA All-Americans Return for NU Women
The Huskers return two women for the 2008 season who have each earned NCAA All-America honors during their outstanding. Kayla Wilkinson returns for her second attempt at a senior season after redshirting in 2007 due to shoulder surgery, while Epley Bullock is back for her sophomore year following a remarkable debut campaign.

Wilkinson captured her All-America honor with a runner-up finish in the javelin at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a toss of 177-7. Had it not been for an injury in 2007, she would have been poised to make a run for a national title in the event last year. That goal resurfaces this season, as well as Wilkinson’s attempt to reclaim the Big 12 javelin title, which she won in both 2005 and 2006.

While Wilkinson has years of collegiate experience under her belt, Bullock is the epitome of young stardom. She finished ninth in the high jump (eighth American) at the 2007 indoor championships with a career-high leap of 6-0, winning one of three freshman All-America honors for the Huskers last season. Bullock again qualified for the NCAA Championships in the high jump during the outdoor season, only to finish 24th. With continued improvement and increased collegiate experience, the Allen, Texas, native should be a serious contender to score in both high jumps this year.

- Huskers Live at Home in 2008
The Husker track and field team will not be leaving the state of Nebraska much during the 2008 indoor track season. The team only plans on leaving Lincoln four more times before the start of the outdoor season.

The team will travel to Ames, Iowa twice for the Iowa State Classic and the Iowa State Last Chance Meet; Nebraska will then make two trips to Fayetteville, Ark. for the Tyson Invite and the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

The Huskers will host four of their own meets, the Bob Devaney Sports Center Indoor Track will be the host site for this year’s Big 12 Conference Indoor Championships. The Huskers will also be attending the NWU Invite and the Prairie Wolf Invite, however, each of those meets is being held at the Devaney Center. All in all the Huskers will have the privilege of competing at the Devaney Center for seven of their 11 meets.


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